Then, cue the music! There was a man in a skirt. There was Bethany Spiers of the Feverfew, singing and playing beautifully as always. There was "Nothing Compares to You," and an electric cello. By then, I was fading. So I ran off home to do the sleeping dance, the bestest dance in the whole wide world.
Here's the poem I read last night:
It's no go the merrygoround, it's no go the rickshaw,
All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow.
Their knickers are made of crepe-de-chine, their shoes are made of python,
Their halls are lined with tiger rugs and their walls with heads of bison.
John MacDonald found a corpse, put it under the sofa,
Waited till it came to life and hit it with a poker,
Sold its eyes for souvenirs, sold its blood for whiskey,
Kept its bones for dumb-bells to use when he was fifty.
It's no go the Yogi-Man, it's no go Blavatsky,
All we want is a bank balance and a bit of skirt in a taxi.
Annie MacDougall went to milk, caught her foot in the heather,
Woke to hear a dance record playing of Old Vienna.
It's no go your maidenheads, it's no go your culture,
All we want is a Dunlop tyre and the devil mend the puncture.
The Laird o' Phelps spent Hogmanay declaring he was sober,
Counted his feet to prove the fact and found he had one foot over.
Mrs Carmichael had her fifth, looked at the job with repulsion,
Said to the midwife 'Take it away; I'm through with overproduction'.
It's no go the gossip column, it's no go the Ceilidh,
All we want is a mother's help and a sugar-stick for the baby.
Willie Murray cut his thumb, couldn't count the damage,
Took the hide of an Ayrshire cow and used it for a bandage.
His brother caught three hundred cran when the seas were lavish,
Threw the bleeders back in the sea and went upon the parish.
It's no go the Herring Board, it's no go the Bible,
All we want is a packet of fags when our hands are idle.
It's no go the picture palace, it's no go the stadium,
It's no go the country cot with a pot of pink geraniums,
It's no go the Government grants, it's no go the elections,
Sit on your arse for fifty years and hang your hat on a pension.
It's no go my honey love, it's no go my poppet;
Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit.
The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall for ever,
But if you break the bloody glass you won't hold up the weather.
Tonight at 7 p.m., at Galapagos in Williamsburg, more poets than you care to count will read the work of Irish poets, and various bands will play all the songs off of Sinead O'Connor's "I Don't Want What I Haven't Got."
Reed Bye sang us ballads of dogs who ride bicycles, of impromptu whorehouses where mussels are steamed, of jilted lovers who refuse to take pictures of bulls, and read us poems that dared reference plants and landscapes. Anaethema to a New York crowd! We have come here to escape the natural, and soothe ourselves with cyborg dreams and neon, not to be told of places where there are hills and trees and suchlike. Okay, I'm being silly, but seriously, New York, why no trees? I miss trees. Sniff.
For the third year in a row, I will be celebrating the month of April -- cruel, versical month that it is -- by writing a poem a day and posting them all to VersAtile, my rarely used poems-only blog. Last year, I worked on the Calamities; this year, I'm going to recycle the titles of poems that appear in that masterful compendium of doubtful but exuberant taste, Best Loved Poems of the American People. So, hurray for a month of poems with titles like "It's Not the Town, It's You," "God, Give us Men!" and "Over the Hill to the Poor House."
Will you join me? I don't have to be the only NaPoWriMo-ing person out there. Will you gird your poetic loins for a frenzied month of poetical output, suitable for project completion, exploration of new forms and ideas, etc? What say thou, eh?
Gerard Manley Hopkins - Inversnaid
Wallace Stevens - Domination of Black
Don Marquis - Ballad of the Underside
Glynn Maxwell - The Boys at Twilight
e e cummings - [somewhere I have never travelled, gladly beyond]
Federico Garcia Lorca - Cancion del jinete
Anonymous - No me mueves, Senor, el quererte
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
John Ashbery - Paradoxes and Oxymorons
Robert Lowell - For the Union Dead
Charles Wright - Chickamauga
Theodore Roethke - In Evening Air
Catalogue: Life as Tableware -- Ivy Alvarez
North/South -- John Cotter & Shafer Hall
Jane [a murder]: -- Maggie Nelson
Meditations -- Josh Poteat
Tonight the poetry madness continues in a different form: Come by the Bowery Poetry Club at 5:45 and be treated to the Poetry Game Show, now featuring Fictionary. It will be all kinds of awesome.